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Articles by Dale Chappell

Arizona Court Equates Prison Gang Dropouts with Confidential Informants to Require Redaction of STG Files

by Dale Chappell

The Arizona Court of Appeals held on September 25, 2019 that the possibility of information about gang members who had dropped out or were not in “good standing” falling into the wrong hands leaned in favor of redacting records released to a defendant’s attorney, overturning a trial ...

Federal Judge Allows 'Nationwide' Class-Action Lawsuit Against GEO Over Alleged Forced Labor on Prisoners

by Dale Chappell

A federal judge has granted class-action status in a federal lawsuit filed against GEO Group, alleging the private, for-profit company forced immigration detainees to work in order to avoid punishment.
The ruling by Judge Jesus G. Bernal of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of ...

Man Held in Jail Almost Three Months for Possession of ... Honey

by Dale Chappell

A man sat in jail for nearly three months while the police tried twice at different labs to prove that jars of honey he had in his possession contained liquid methamphetamine. And even when they discovered it was in fact honey, they wouldn’t let him go.

Leon ...

New York Stops Testing Probationers for Marijuana Use

by Dale Chappell

The New York City Council voted in April 2019 to stop testing probationers for marijuana use. The move was a step toward reducing re-incarceration of probationers and parolees, and may be a foreshadowing of the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state.

There are currently 4.5 million ...

Pennsylvania and Utah Expunge Criminal Cases to Help People Get Jobs, Find Housing

by Dale Chappell

Nearly 30 million criminal arrest and conviction records – those of anyone ever apprehended for a low-level crime in Pennsylvania – will automatically be expunged under a new law passed in June 2019 designed to help combat discrimination in employment, housing and education.

Under a change to ...

Local Taxpayers Face Higher Taxes, Crime Rates Due to Death Penalty Trials

by Dale Chappell

Taxpayers in Texas counties where death penalty cases are held get hit with a double whammy: Not only do they face higher property taxes to pay for the trials, they also have to deal with increased crime rates after public safety spending is reduced to offset those ...

Allegheny County Settles Three Lawsuits Over Medical Care at County Jail

by Dale Chappell

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania has settled a lawsuit over lack of adequate care by Corizon Health, the medical contractor at the county’s jail, for failing to feed a prisoner, which led him to go into cardiac arrest, according to court records.

The prisoner, Christopher Wallace, was arrested on ...

Whistleblower Lawsuit Exposes Violence, Cover-ups at Rikers Island Jail

by Dale Chappell

A former guard at the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City has filed a lawsuit in state court exposing misconduct and cover-ups by staff. A subsequent report by the city’s Department of Investigation (DOI) confirmed evidence of cover-ups of over a thousand prisoner fights in ...

Washington DOC Medical Director Fired for Negligence

by Dale Chappell

Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) medical director, Dr. Julia Barnett, was terminated on April 18, 2019 because she “failed to exercise sound clinical judgment and failed to provide adequate medical care” to prisoners at the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC), resulting in the deaths of several prisoners.

Barnett ...

Judge Calls Prison Guard ‘Feckless Coward’ Yet Still Grants Him Immunity in Lawsuit

by Dale Chappell

 A jail guard who ran and hid when a prisoner he was watching grabbed his gun and terrorized a hospital was a “feckless coward,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said, but nevertheless held on September 18, 2019, that he was entitled to qualified ...